8156RE: [civilwarwest] Review of "Triumph Over Adversity"
- Oct 1, 2001To look specifically at the review,
1. Depression is a difficult and, even today, hard to treat disorder.
Some people can bloom quickly and overcome it --as Lincoln did. Others
may take longer, as Grant did.
But there is no question that if USG did suffer from depression, he rose
2. As for the second paragraph, any person who would manumit a slave, at
a moment when the erstwhile owner is in deep financial trouble (remember
that he ended up hocking his watch for Christmas presents), *does*
suggest that USG had problems with slavery. His one slave was worth
To place that in perspective, the initial 1863 income tax exempted
salaries under $800, which was considered to be the average blue collar
salary. As a captain of Infantry, Grant had been making $194/month,
$2228 per year.
That "most successful lawyer in Illinois history" averaged, in the
1850s, averaged about $3,500-5,000 per year.
I suspect that USG's income at Hardscabble was a whole lot less than he
had made in the Army.
How many of us would give away a year's salary (former Captain Grant),
or 1/2 (for Captain Grant) or 1/3 (for Lincoln) of our salary when we
would quickly turned that commodity into ready cash?
If the details in a review are wrong, then why should the opinion be
entitled to any respect?
Judy and Bob Huddleston
10643 Sperry Street
Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
tells us that young Grant frequently suffered from what 19th-century
writers referred to as "melancholy," or what today would be diagnosed
as depression. It is a rationalization that hardly explains his
antebellum failures. Abraham Lincoln waged a lifelong battle
against "melancholia," and yet became one of the most successful
lawyers in Illinois history and eventually one of the nation's
"Simpson's rosy interpretations often are a quantum leap beyond the
evidence used to support them. For example, Simpson informs us that
during the war Grant wholeheartedly supported Lincoln's racial
policies. Yet there is little in the early life of Grant to suggest
that the institution of slavery deeply offended him. Grant's
emergence as a racial egalitarian seems to have been the product of
political expediency and a recognition of the shifting sands of
social and cultural change during the Civil War.
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>